Great news! From Tuesday 1 September squash clubs and venues in England are able to move to Phase 2 in our return to play plan, allowing players to form ‘squash bubbles’ and play full-court squash, although modifications and additional hygiene measures will be required.
What is a squash bubble?
A bubble consists of a maximum of six players. Players can only be part of one bubble at a time.
Players within the bubble can play full-court matches but with the following modifications and hygiene measures;
- Only two players on court at one time.
- Play best of three games.
- Play first to 11 points, sudden-death at 10-all.
- Use ‘Sides’ as a way to maintain social distancing throughout the warm-up.
- During each game, when the first player reaches five points, both players should wipe away excessive sweat, sanitise their hands and the ball. Repeat between games.
- The same player to serve / touch the ball during each half of a game, and at the halfway point, switch servers.
- Players must wear protective eyewear or visor.
- Players must not touch the court walls.
- Players are not allowed to shout or raise their voice.
The club/venue must maintain all current processes around social distancing and the maximum number of people allowed in your club at any one time, as well as your already enhanced hygiene and cleaning processes.
How to introduce squash bubbles at your club/venue
- We strongly recommend that you review the risk assessment that you undertook when re-opening your club, and update it in line with any changes of circumstances and the introduction of squash bubbles.
- The club/venue’s COVID-19 officer must take responsibility for managing squash bubbles.
- Establish and communicate the process for players to sign up to, or be allocated to, a bubble.
- Maintain an up to date list of players (including relevant contact details) in each bubble and ensure players are only part of one bubble at a time(I.e. they cannot play across multiple bubbles).
- Ensure you get players’ written agreement confirming that they will follow the England Squash bubble guidance.
- If a player wishes to switch bubbles, they must take a 7-day break from playing the full version of the game before joining a different bubble.‘Sides’ or socially distanced practices can be played during this 7-day break.
What if a player in a bubble develops COVID-19 symptoms?
- Follow the England Squash guidance and your club’s protocol for members/players with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Players from the bubble that have been in contact with the symptomatic player within the seven days prior must self-isolate and undertake tests as per Government guidelines, even if they exhibit no symptoms themselves, until it has been determined whether or not the symptomatic player has tested positive or negative.
- Players within the bubble can resume play if the COVID-19 test proves negative.
Example activities that can take place with squash bubbles
- Box leagues – Players within a bubble can play full-court matches in a box league. Players can switch bubbles after seven days of socially distant squash, meaning players can move into different box leagues.
- Group coaching – coaching full-court play with players from the same bubble, with up to six players across three courts. (Further guidance for coaches to follow.)
- Casual / pay and play –players from within a squash bubble can play full-court matches
- Social distancing must be maintained off-court even within a squash bubble.
- Coaches must maintain social distancing from members/players at all times, and wear a face covering at all times (unless undertaking strenuous physical exercise).
Last update: 23 July 2020 – Version 2
England Squash has published full guidance for clubs, venues and coaches for the return to play. This guidance is based on the latest UK Government guidelines for leisure facilities and has been produced in collaboration with partners and other governing bodies from across the sector.
Please download and use the most up-to-date version below (Version 2, released on 23/07/20) rather than previous versions. We expect that there will be further amendments and updates to our guidance in the weeks ahead and advise that you check back regularly to ensure you are viewing the latest version. Significant updates will be communicated by email and social media.
In order to reopen, clubs and venues are obliged to ensure that they have completed a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment:
We also advise that clubs have developed a robust and practical ‘COVID-19 Secure Plan’ which can be found in the guidance.
Our court cleaning guidance (last updated 23/07/20) provides practical advice and support measures to help clubs/venues keep their members and workforce as safe as possible.